Calling Back Jaime de Angulo
The creek’s choked with rubble,
barred from the salt sea,
for so many winters now
Bobcats, where do you go for a drink?
Stars, where do you look
For a lover amidst the dry rushes?
Reptiles, fishes…what the fuck?
Where do you go to die?
And where do I?
Invitation to a Feast
The vultures don’t ask, they just eat.
A turtle on the beach wrapped in thick film
sleeps by the strains of a marching band.
The parade passes by, trombones honking
like broken geese, drums crashing in their orbit
over the ocean’s blue black waves.
Offshore, the vague light of oil platforms burns
in the gray fog, ghosts of ships
and men lost at sea. Under the waves
a foreign music sleeps. Back on the beach,
señor turtle dies again, victim of gang warfare –
all humanity against the poor guy.
Half-buried now, his shell itself like a drum
or cauldron of soup at low tide. When the vultures come,
their smiles are automatic, eyes bright as glass.
Sea smell and salt over everything. The oily water rising.
Señor vulture sharpens his beak on the black rock,
takes out his fork. He says a little prayer. He knows
nobody invited him to sleep by the turtle’s empty shell.
I saw the dalliance of leopards…
For the old Indo-Europeans
Afraid, very afraid
I saw the dalliance of leopards
at work in the beauty of their coats.
They sought each other and embraced.
Had I gone between them then
and pulled them apart by their manes
I would have run less risk than when
in my boat I paddled in the quiet flood
and saw the river kindling dead roots
from spring rain, ready to coax
blooms of scented jasmine from the blank mud.
But That It Robs You of Who You Are
– after Kabir
But that it robs you of who you are,
What can be said about money?
Inconceivable, life without it
And dismal to live for,
Money lessens you.
Pay a wealthy man, there is
Much to gain; pay a poor one,
All you get is Thanks.
Kick at a half-empty deposit box, and it
Rings like a temple bell; strike a full one,
Says the Beloved, and only silence answers back.
The Golden Deer, the Water Bull
after the scyths
your mineral hooves planted
in the medical earth, the blades
of your antler tines carving bare
space against the stratosphere
your ribs hammered trees
your courageous flank exposed
your vegetal mass aglow
your lithic painted hide
floods the horizon, constructing
mountains where untroubled magma
restores the sunken islands
your meat unwears her armored body
the smell of your leather
revives the plundered world